Photo-sharing service provider Instagram recently came under fire after a proposal to change its terms of service, which would have given the firm free will to include user-generated images in advertisements without the owner’s consent. After receiving an overwhelming amount of backlash and reportedly losing a quarter of its total users worldwide, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom eventually backpedaled and removed the new language from its terms.
With many former Instagram users still fraught with uncertainty of returning, it’s best to look for the top photo-sharing apps that will suit their needs. (Arranged in no particular order)
Flickr, created by Ludicorp but acquired by Yahoo in 2005, launched as one of the first photo-sharing services, but it now offers a newly launched app for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
While its main functions is to upload and host photos to Flickr, the mobile app also allows sharing images on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and email.
Uploaded photos come from the camera roll, tagged, sorted, and inserted with location data.
Flickr also provides 15 photo filters – all named after an animal, such as Iguana, Panda, Toucan – similar to Instagram’s 18 photo filters.
When Google acquired Picasa from Lifescape in 2004, it entered the photo-editing and photo-sharing business. In September last year, it bought Nik Software, a maker of tech applications for professional photographers.
Snapseed is the fruit of Google’s Nik acquisition. It takes advantage of the specialized imaging software technology designed for pros and brings the experience to Android, iOS, and Windows Phone owners.
Like Flickr, Snapseed offers Instagram-like photo filters but not as much. However, it includes a second enhancement on top of the chosen filter, such as autocorrect, cropping and color balance.
3. Camera Awesome
Camera Awesome, an iOS-exclusive app from image hosting and photo-sharing service provider SmugMug, offers more than just photo filters to include around 300 effects, filters, and editing tools.
The app also provides distinct features such as horizon level and the ability to focus in one area and adjust the exposure in another.
Uploading photos to social networks, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and SmugMug, is also available.
Download Link: App Store (iOS)
Designed for non-professional photographers, Pixlr is a cloud-based set of image tools that includes a photo-sharing service. In July 2011, Autodesk acquired it from Swedish founder Ola Sevandersson.
The photo-editing service of Pixlr has two apps: Pixlr Express and Pixlr-o-matic. Both are available in Web and mobile versions for Android and iOS.
Pixlr Express comes with more than 600 photo effects, overlays, and borders – from cropping and resizing to red-eye removal and even teeth whitening.
Among the two, Pixlr-o-matic has more similarity to Instagram but more full-bodied. It features 100 photo filters categorized into 7 sets, and dozens of borders and overlays to customize or enhance the photos. Apart from its Web and mobile versions, the app is available to download from Facebook and Google Chrome.
Pixlr Express focuses on a broad range of professionally customized effects, whereas Pixlr-o-matic is for playful mobile owners.
Apple iPhone and iPad owners, both novice and seasoned, who love to create photos will enjoy tap tap tap’s Camera+ mobile app.
Camera+, exclusively available for iOS (iPhone and iPad only), does not fall short of features against its rivals. It offers digital zoom, photo flashlight, timer, and touch exposure and focus.
Seasoned photographers will treasure professional imaging features such as ISO, focal length and shutter speed.
User can share images on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and via email.
Download Link: App Store (iOS)
EyeEm helps Android and iOS users discover breathtaking images with 14 filters and share it through popular social networks.
Through time EyeEm learns habits and creates a photo feed full of stories that matter. It offers global interaction between people who have common interests online and offline.
According to The Next Web, it has a simple yet beautiful interface that makes powerful technology easier to understand for users.
Hipstamatic is an iOS-only app that combines “lens, flash, and film” options to create vintage images.
The team behind Hipstamatic aims to convert digital photos into analog masterpieces by swapping out lens, flash and film in multiple combinations to create a broad range of vintage effects.
Users can share the photos on major social networks: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr.
Download Link: App Store (iOS)
The filters of Twitter’s mobile app admittedly lack brilliance compared to its rivals, but the team behind it is gaining ground, as it included eight classy, retro-style photo filters to the latest iOS version.
While “Cool,” “Happy,” and “Vignette” are lackluster compared to Instagram’s filters, Twitter also offers two photo-editing features with “magic wand” (auto level adjustment) and a cropping tool for images.
Loyal Twitter mobile app users may find this amusing, but it’s not yet enough for users of third-party apps to switch over.
Streamzoo offers a combination of filters and borders to convey each mood. With many photo-editing options under its belt, Streamzoo could be the last mobile photo-sharing app needed in the toolbox.
Users can share photos in one shot with family and friends both on Streamzoo and on a favorite social network.
Apart from its social side, Streamzoo could surpass Instagram since it takes things up a notch through fancy features such as borders, collages, hue, saturation, and tilt-shift.
Unlike the other apps that share images the Instagram way on this list, Path has a Facebook-like way of sharing photos and thoughts to a smaller circle of family or friends.
Path is a personal social network that share’s life greatest captured moments and keeps in touch with family and friends through its design and user experience.
The mobile app also allows Android and iOS device owners to share images on major social networking sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare. Path users can check-in, upload pics and clips, write blogs, and tweet.
Despite generating this top photo-sharing apps list, Instagram still is the most user-friendly of the bunch when it comes to tweaking bordered, filtered rectangular pieces of art.
Instagram seems to be pulling back those who left after the debacle, but it still needs to come up with an income-generating project without coming under fire from its millions of users.